Glitter, Sequins, and Plaster of Paris Ornaments

finished Moomin Troll ornaments
finished Moomin Troll ornaments

Sophia adores glitter so I came up with this project for her. When we started I wasn’t sure what we would make with the end results but we ended making them in to hanging ornaments πŸ™‚

Glitter and sequin Moomin Troll ornament
Glitter and sequin Moomin Troll ornament

What you will need:

  • Molds of your liking
  • Glitter
  • Sequins
  • Beads or anything else small like buttons, rocks, etc
  • Water
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Tray to contain the mess
  • A cookie drying rack
  • Ziplock bag
  • Measuring cup
  • Scissors
  • Mod podge
  • Ribbon
  • Paint brush
  • Tin foil
  • Hot glue gun and stick of glue
  • (Optional scale)
Things we used in the molds  (minus the googlie eyes, she didn't want any)
Things we used in the molds (minus the googlie eyes, she didn’t want any)
Excited to glitter!
Excited to glitter!
Small beads got poured in
Small beads got poured in

After the first mold was all done to her liking we moved on to the next.

TIP: In case of glitter spills, wet wipes and also play doh are great fast ways of picking up the strays

Excited to make Moomin Trolls
Excited to make Moomin Trolls
Mixing glitter
Mixing glitter
Adding sequins after she was satisfied with all the glitter
Adding sequins after she was satisfied with all the glitter
The last of the sequins got poured in
The last of the sequins got poured in

Once she was satisfied with all the glitter and sequins in the mold. We mixed up a batch of plaster. I didn’t think we would need a full one pound (It comes in one pound bags in the box), so we mixed first a half a pound and halved the recipe on the box.

TIP: Instead of using a bucket and a stick as the instructions on the box say, use a gallon ziplock bag to mix in. Sophia demonstrates how to mix in the bag below.

Once mixed just cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and pour it on the molds. I found that we were a little shy so we made another 4 oz (with the recipe quartered for water amount).

For the molds I used up 12 oz of the 1 pound bag of plaster
For the molds I used up 12 oz of the 1 pound bag of plaster

We were left with 1/4 pound of unused plaster.

Plaster poured in
Plaster poured in
Hearts plastered
Hearts plastered
Removed the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better
Removed the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better

I did remove the ornaments out of the molds after they had set for about an hour, so they would dry better. In the process I did break two of the Moomin Trolls arms off. But glue them back on once they dried with mod podge.

Mod podged ornaments to seal on the glitter and sequins
Mod podged ornaments to seal on the glitter and sequins

After the ornaments were dry I took a larger paintbrush and mod podged the tops and sides of them to seal in the glitter and sequins. I set them to dry on a sheet of tinfoil.

Hot glued ribbons on the Moomin Trolls
Hot glued ribbons on the Moomin Trolls

Sophia was happy to cut up all the ribbon pieces we needed. I hot glued them on. You have to let the glue cool before touching it or they do peel off pretty easy when wet yet.

Hot glued ribbons on the hearts
Hot glued ribbons on the hearts
Finished heart ornaments
Finished heart ornaments

All done!

finished Moomin Troll ornaments
finished Moomin Troll ornaments

Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!

Holiday pine cone penguin!
Holiday pine cone penguin!

What you will need:

  • A Pine Cone
  • Black tempera paint
  • Paint brush
  • hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Black, White and Red Felt for making tummy/face, wings, and a hat (or buy a hat pre-made)
  • Googlie eyes
  • Orange pipe cleaner
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning)
Santa Hats
Santa Hats

I was planning on making a Santa hat out of felt for our pine cone penguin, until I found these cute Santa hats on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

Paint the pine cone black
Paint the pine cone black

First paint the pine cone black and let the paint dry.

TIP: If you the squeeze the paint directly on the pine cone and then spread it with a brush, it is easier to do than putting the paint on a plate and having to scoop it up with the brush.

Things to make a holiday pine cone penguin!
Things to make a holiday pine cone penguin!

Cut the white felt in a oblong 8 figure as shown in the picture above. Cut two wings out of the black felt. If you are making your own Santa hat make it before you start on the penguin.

Penguin's beak and feet
Penguin’s beak and feet

Cut a small part off the orange pipe cleaner and bend it in a “V” shape for the beak. Then take the remaining piece and bend 3 toes on each end as shown in the above picture.

Ready to hot glue!
Ready to hot glue!

Plug in your hot glue gun and let it heat up.

Gluing the face first!
Gluing the face first!

Start with gluing the face first on to the white felt piece.

Then take the pine cone and glue the white felt piece on as desired. After that glue the hat and wings on as desired.

Penguin's feet glued on
Penguin’s feet glued on

On the bottom of the pine cone glue on the feet as shown above.

Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!

Enjoy your new Holiday Penguin πŸ™‚

Penguin love
Penguin love <3
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin and Rudolf!
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin and Rudolf!

Instructions for Rudolf here.

Our holiday pine cone friends πŸ™‚

Holiday pine cone friends
Holiday pine cone friends

Instructions for pine cone Santa click here

Instructions for the painted tree click here

Instructions for the salt dough ornaments click here

Potato Stamping Christmas Cards!

Toddler Potato Stamping Christmas Cards
Toddler Potato Stamping Christmas Cards

It’s the time of year to get your Christmas cards sent. We decided to make some this year. I figured for the most toddler participation, potato stamping would be the best option. (I didn’t want to have Sophia only be interested in making one or two cards and all the rest left to me)

Free hand Christmas tree stamp
Free hand Christmas tree stamp

What you will need:

  • A large potato
  • A large knife (to cut the potato in half)
  • A small knife (for carving)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Tempera paints
  • Foam brushes
  • Card stock paper for cards
  • A paper cutter
  • A cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)

First cut your potato in half. Then cut out designs as wanted. I wanted to use cookie cutters on both but the tree cookie cutter I have was too big for the potato, so I ended free handing it.

When using a cookie cutter press it in to your potato half about a quarter inch. Then take your knife and cut away the potato to the cookie cutters edges.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out the stamp
Use a cookie cutter to cut out the stamp

Cut the card stock paper in half to a desirable size card. We decided we wanted our cards to fold open with a stamp on the outside and a stamp on the inside.

Ready for Potato Stamping Christmas Cards
Ready for Potato Stamping Christmas Cards

Put some tempera paint on your stamp with a foam brush. You don’t want to put the paint on too thickly or it will just smear.

TIP: Practice a few stamps on a scrap sheet of paper to figure out a good amount of paint for the stamp.

Excited to start stamping!
Excited to start stamping!
So amazed! :)
So amazed! πŸ™‚

Place the stamp on the card and press firmly down on it before removing from paper.

Allow the first stamp to dry before stamping the inside of the cards.

Ready to stamp candy canes
Ready to stamp candy canes

I tried to make striped candy canes with red and white but it just blended together in to pink candy canes.

Stamping the candy canes
Stamping the candy canes

Allow paint to dry. Then they are ready to write in or decorate further if desired. Sophia drew pictures and added some stickers to ours πŸ™‚

The Painted Tree

Our pastel painted branch!
Our pastel painted branch!

I saw this fun idea on Babble Dabble Do blog for a rainbow tree.

From that day I was on a constant search for a branch that would work. It took several weeks since around where we live right now 99% of the trees are pines.

What you will need:

  • A branch of your liking
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
All set up to paint
All set up to paint

Cover your work surface. I tape (with painters or packing tape) the wax cloth directly on to the table so it doesn’t move around while we work.

Excited to paint :)
Excited to paint πŸ™‚
Painting our pastel tree
Painting our pastel tree

TIP: The foam paint brushes are the best for toddlers to work with on this project

Ready to flip over
Ready to flip over

Sophia was more interested in using a fewer colors over all covering larger areas.

It's great for hanging up crafts
It’s great for hanging up crafts

I placed rocks in a vase to hold up our tree. The tree is a really fun way to display some of our art work we do πŸ™‚

Snowflake the Elf all ready for mornign for Sophia to find her
Tree with our salt dough ornaments

(I painted the vase pink since I wasn’t a fan of the brownish red color it was before. )

How to make:

Cookie cutter salt dough ornaments here and decorating them here

Pine Cone Santa here

Counting down to Christmas with Elf on the Shelf with a toddler friendly version here

Pine Cone Santa!

Pine Cone Santa
Pine Cone Santa

I was planning on making a Santa hat out of felt for our pine cone Santa, until I found these cute Santa hats on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

Santa Hats
Santa Hats

What you will need:

  • A Pine Cone
  • Red Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush
  • Gorilla Glue (you could use a hot glue gun instead)
  • Felt for making a hat or buy a hat pre-made
  • Googlie eyes
  • Cotton balls
  • Dowel Cap (for head)
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning)

 

Ready to paint
Ready to paint

Paint the pine cone.

Painting the pine cone
Painting the pine cone

It doesn’t have to be completely covered in paint, the imperfections will add character πŸ™‚

TIP: Have wet wipes handy to wipe off paint from hands

Painted pine cone
Painted pine cone

Allow the paint to dry.

TIP: You could add glitter if you wanted to by sprinkling some into the wet paint.

Ready to glue together the Santa
Ready to glue together the Santa

Test out how you want the head (dowel) to sit before adding the glue.

Put glue in the bottom and sides of the hole in the dowel and then fit it over the pine cone top pieces (the spot you want the head to sit).

Attaching the beard
Attaching the beard

Stretch out and shape a cotton ball into a beard of your liking. Then place glue on the parts of the pine cone that it will touch and set it in place.

TIP: You will want to glue the top of the beard on to the head, so add a dab of glue there.

Attaching the googlie eyes
Attaching the googlie eyes

Put a dab of glue to where you want the eyes to go and put the googlie eyes in place.

Attaching the googlie eyes
Attaching the googlie eyes

Put a small cotton ball inside the hat (to help keep it’s form). Put glue on the edges of the hat and cotton ball where they touch theΒ  dowel (head). Allow all the glue to dry.

TIP: This is where I wished I had faster drying glue option (like hot glue or maybe super glue) since the hat didn’t want to stay exactly where I wanted it to at first.

Finished Pine Cone Santa!
Finished Pine Cone Santa!

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

Decorated Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorated Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

This is for different ideas for decorating your ornaments. For directions on how to make salt dough cookie cutter ornaments click here.

Ready to Paint Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Ready to Paint Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

What you will need:

  • Salt Dough Ornaments
  • Acrylic paint
  • Mod podge glossy finish
  • Ribbon/ string
  • Paint brushes
  • Toothpick
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Beads
  • Felt
  • Glitter
  • Pony beads
  • Different sized gold beads
  • Googlie eyes
  • Buttons, cotton balls, pom poms or anything else you find laying around
Painting Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Painting Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

Paint the ornaments as desired and allow the paint to dry.

Painted Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Painted Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

TIP: Make sure you don’t fill the ribbon hole with paint or the ribbon won’t fit through. If you get paint in it just use a toothpick to remove the excess paint.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We added glitter to the white parts of our candy canes. Lightly brush a thin layer of mod podge on and sprinkle glitter over the wet mod podge. Allow to dry.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

Using gorilla glue we glued on googlie eyes and pony beads for the “gum drop” buttons πŸ™‚ I tried out buttons I had first but we liked the pony beads better.

Gingerbread Men Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Gingerbread Men Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We cut little felt mouths for the gingerbread men, which we gorilla glued on.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We gorilla glued on two different size gold beads on the Christmas trees.

Christmas Tree Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Christmas Tree Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

I gorilla glued on pieces of gold string as “tinsel garland” on the trees.

Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Decorating Salt Dough Cookie Cutter Ornaments

We gorilla glued on gold string as halos for the angels.

Once you have all your ornaments decorated as desired allow the glue to completely dry. Once it has dried paint a thin layer of mod podge over the ornaments to help preserve them and it will give them a nice glossy finish. The mod podge dries clear so don’t worry about it looking cloudy when you put it on.

Displaying our finished ornaments on our painted branch tree since we don't have our Christmas tree up yet :)
Displaying our finished ornaments on our painted branch tree since we don’t have our Christmas tree up yet πŸ™‚

Once the mod podge has dried string your ornaments and they are ready to be hung on a tree.

Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments

Having a play date and looking for a easy fun craft activity for the little’s to do for cheap? Want to make ornaments for your own tree or maybe some presents for family members? These are a great choice for all of them!

Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments
Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments (and a handprint)

What you will need:

  • 1 cup Salt
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup of Water
  • Measuring cups
  • Rolling pin
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • Cookie cutters
  • Skewer (or something else to make holes for the ribbon)
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Ribbon or string
What you need to make Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments
What you need to make Cookie Cutter Salt Dough Ornaments

Mix together the salt and flour.

Tasting the flour
Tasting the flour
Pouring the flour in the bowl
Pouring the flour in the bowl

Add the water in smaller increments while mixing with the spatula.

Adding water a little bit at a time
Adding water a little bit at a time
Mixing it up slowly
Mixing it up slowly

TIP: You may not need to add the whole 1/2 cup of water. If dough gets sticky and a little bit more flour.

We actually needed a few extra table spoons of water to pull the dough together. The dough is perfect when it holds form. See below.

At this point it will be easier to use your hands. Press the dough together to form a ball.

All done and ready to go
All done and ready to go

Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper and flatten it out with the rolling pin to a desired thickness. We did ours at about 1/4″ thick. The thicker the dough is, the longer it will take to dry and the heavier the ornaments will be (heavy is generally not good for Christmas trees).

Dough rolled out and ready for the cookie cutters
Dough rolled out and ready for the cookie cutters

Cut out the ornaments and set aside.

Cutting out ornaments
Cutting out ornaments

After the first set was cut out, we balled the scraps and re-rolled them flat again.

Cutting out ornaments
Cutting out ornaments

After the second set of ornaments were cut out, we decided to make a hand print ornament with the rest of the scrap dough.

DON’T Forget to poke holes in your ornaments before baking. I used the skewer to make the holes.

From the leftover scraps we decided to make one handprint ornament
From the leftover scraps we decided to make one handprint ornament

TIP: If you want to smooth down cracks and rough edges, you can do so by dipping your finger in water and smoothing them out, adding water as needed.

After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F
After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F

Put the ornaments on the parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Put in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two hours. After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F the ornaments still had wet spots (when you squeeze they are soft and give to pressure). So I flipped them over and increased the oven temperature to 225F and baked them for 2 more hours.

After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F, still wet in spots. Flipped over and increased temp to 225 for 2 more hours.
After 2 hours in the oven at 200 F, still wet in spots. Flipped over and increased temp to 225 for 2 more hours.

Once the ornaments are fully dried out allow them to cool down before continuing to the next step.

The ornaments can be used as is, just add the strings, or you can further decorate as desired.

This is for different ideas for decorating your ornaments. For ideas on how to make decorate your salt dough cookie cutter ornaments click here.

Sun Catchers

Painted Sun Catchers
Painted Sun Catchers

Painting sun catchers is a lot of fun. It is quick, easy, cheap, and a great rainy day activity. What better to do on a gloomy rainy day than dream of the sun πŸ™‚

Sun catchers can be bought in kits or separately. I bought mine separate and found the paint sold alone at Hobby Lobby. If you are buying separate make sure the paint is for sun catchers specifically. The different shapes you can get at Walmart or Hobby Lobby or other craft store generally they are $0.50 a piece.

These will make a great gifts for family members. The shapes do come in holiday themes as well.

What you will need:

Sun catcher shapes

Sun catcher paint

Paint brushes

String to hang the finished project

set up to paint sun catchers
set up to paint sun catchers

TIP: The sun catcher paint will stain your skin if not wiped off right away.

TIP: Use a different brush for each color to help minimize colors mixing in the container

Painting Sun Catcher Cupcake
Painting Sun Catcher Cupcake

TIP: Open only one color at a time to help minimize mess, mixing of colors, and spills.

Painting Sun Catcher Elephant
Painting Sun Catcher Elephant

TIP: You may want to limit the amount of colors used per sun catcher. A bunch of colors mixed together will end in a brownish result in the end. The cupcake I allowed her to use 6 colors and the elephant I limited it to only 4.

Allow to air dry before putting the string on and hanging them up.

Painted Sun Catchers
Painted Sun Catchers

Resin Ornament Painting

Painted Resin Ornament
Painted Resin Ornament

I found this resin deer ornament at Michaels craft store. I wasn’t sure how the paint would stick to it since it’s a pretty smooth finish on it but decided that for a $1.00 we’d give it a try.

What you will need:

Resin Ornament

Acrylic paint

Mod podge

Ribbon

Paint brushes

Resin Ornament Painting Set Up
Resin Ornament Painting Set Up

I set up Sophia to paint it. TIP: Remove the string from the ornament before painting.

Resin Ornament Painting
Resin Ornament Painting

After the first stroke of paint I realized that it works great. The resin ornament wasn’t repelling the paint.

Resin Ornament Painting
Resin Ornament Painting

Sophia thoroughly enjoyed painting the deer. Allow to dry after painting is done. I placed it standing up on a paper plate out of reach, since Sophia wanted to go play with it πŸ™‚

After the paint has dried paint a thin layer of mod podge on it. This will help preserve it longer. The mod podge dries clear so don’t worry about it looking cloudy when you put it on.

Put ribbon back on after it has dried.

TIP: the resin ornaments are more on the fragile side (I’m basing off the fact the of the 3 deer at the store this was the only one with both antlers intact) So handle with care.

Painted Resin Ornament
Painted Resin Ornament

 

Salt Dough Handprint Ornaments

 

salt dough and handprint ornaments and a free style salt dough ornament
salt dough and handprint ornaments and a free salt style dough ornament

I’ve done salt dough handprint ornaments the last two years (Sophia was 6 months and 1.5 years old). There is a good recipe and instructions for the salt dough handprints here on The Imagination Tree. I did a few things a bit differently like adding water a little at a time so it doesn’t get sticky plus they dry faster the less water there is.

The first year I made these I didn’t trim off the excess dough. I found that those were really heavy. So this time I trimmed the dough around the edges with a kitchen knife. Below are a few more helpful tips.

What you will need:

Salt

Flour

Water

Parchment paper

Acrylic paint

Mod podge

Ribbon

Paint brushes

I set Sophia up to work on top of the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This keeps the dough from sticking to the pan when cooked and you wont have to worry about moving their finished master piece.

exploring salt dough
exploring salt dough

TIP: If you want to smooth down cracks and rough edges, you can do so by dipping your finger in water and smoothing them out, adding water as needed.

exploring salt dough
exploring salt dough

TIP: If you are making the dough by yourself, as I did, have it all set up before inviting your toddler to join you. This is very helpful since little ones have short attention spans so it’s best to use it doing the project instead of them watching you set up for it.

making salt dough ornament
making salt dough ornament

TIP: Also we did the handprints first as quickly as I could crank them out, maybe took 4-5 minutes. After which I allowed Sophia to explore the dough with different tools as she wanted.

DON’T: Forget to poke holes in the ornaments (for the ribbon to go through when done) before baking

baked salt dough handprint ornaments
baked salt dough handprint ornaments

After the salt dough ornaments had cooled off and I was certain they had fully dried off (the next day) I set Sophia up for painting them. I had originally thought about painting them my self and making these cute Santa’s out of them. But then figured that family getting the ornaments would like them better if Sophia had her own hand in painting them.

TIP: You can do this in one day if you make the ornaments first thing in the morning and get them baking. If you make them really thick they take a lot longer than the 2 hours recommended bake time.

painting salt dough handprint ornament
painting salt dough handprint ornament

Look of hard concentration πŸ™‚

painting salt dough handprint ornament
painting salt dough handprint ornament

Paint a layer of mod podge on them after the paint has dried. This will help preserve them longer. The mod podge dries clear so don’t worry about it looking cloudy when you put it on.

On the red “sun” ornament we sprinkled red glitter on top of the wet paint.

The instructions for the handprint bauble ornament pictured below will be posted soon. Check back soon πŸ™‚

salt dough and handprint ornaments and a free style salt dough ornament
salt dough and handprint ornaments and a free style salt dough ornament